Injuries to Baby Teeth

Baby Teeth Pushed Back Up into Gums

Here are the steps you should take before visiting a paediatric dentist, particularly in the case of trauma to primary teeth:

Pre-Appointment Steps:

  1. Immediate Care: If the injury is recent, gently clean the area with a soft cloth and cold water. If there's bleeding, apply gentle pressure with a clean gauze or cloth. Avoid using any medication on the injured area without consulting a dentist or doctor.

  2. Pain Management: If your child is in pain, you can give them an age-appropriate pain reliever, like paracetamol, following the dosage instructions on the package. It's important to use medication that is safe for children.

  3. Soft Diet: Until the dental appointment, stick to a soft diet to prevent further injury. Avoid hard, sticky, or chewy foods.

  4. Oral Hygiene: Continue with gentle brushing using a soft-bristled toothbrush, being extra careful around the injured area.

Information to Gather for the Dentist:

  1. Details of the Incident: Note down how and when the injury occurred. This can help the dentist understand the extent of the trauma.

  2. Symptoms Observed: Any changes in eating habits, sensitivity to hot or cold, or signs of pain or discomfort should be noted.

  3. Medical History: Update any medical history, including allergies, previous dental experiences, and current medications.

  4. Dental History: If your child has had any previous dental work or issues, make sure to inform the dentist.

Questions to Prepare for the Dentist:

  1. Assessment of Injury: What is the extent of the injury, and how has it affected the teeth and surrounding tissues?

  2. Treatment Options: What are the possible treatment options, and what do they entail? This can include whether the teeth can be repositioned, need to be removed, or other interventions.

  3. Pain Management: What pain management strategies can be used at home?

  4. Future Implications: How might this injury affect the permanent teeth or overall oral health?

  5. Preventive Measures: What can be done to prevent similar injuries in the future?

  6. Follow-up Care: What follow-up care or appointments will be necessary?

Using General Anaesthesia or Relative Analgesia:

In some cases, the dentist might suggest using general anaesthesia (sleep dentistry) or relative analgesia (laughing gas). These are used to manage pain and anxiety during dental procedures. It's important to discuss the risks and benefits of these options with your dentist, especially considering your child's age and medical history.

Chipped or Cracked Baby Tooth

In dealing with a baby's chipped primary teeth due to trauma, consider the varying degrees of injury and the young age of the child. Here's a plan to help you prepare for the paediatric dentist appointment:

Immediate Care

  1. Clean the Area: Rinse your child’s mouth gently with clean water. Avoid rigorous cleaning, which might aggravate the injury.

  2. Antiseptic Gel: If you have access to a pharmacy, apply Curasept 0.5% gel twice daily for 7 days. Lightly rub it on the gums and around the affected tooth. This is effective in preventing infection. No prescription is required for Curasept gel.
  3. Pain Management: If there is discomfort, an age-appropriate pain reliever, like paracetamol, can be used following the package’s instructions.

  4. Cold Compress: Apply a cold compress externally on the cheek to reduce swelling.

  5. Soft Diet: Stick to a soft diet to prevent further injury to the chipped teeth.

Assessing the Extent of the Chip

  • Minor Chip: If the chip is small and there's no significant pain or discomfort, urgent care may not be necessary. However, dental evaluation is still important to prevent potential complications.
  • Significant Chip or Multiple Teeth: If the chip is large, involves multiple teeth, or there's visible damage to the gums, seek dental advice promptly. This might require more immediate attention.

Symptoms of a Chipped Baby Tooth:

  • Pain or Sensitivity: Especially noticeable when eating or exposed to hot or cold temperatures.
  • Bleeding: Minor bleeding from the chipped area or gums.
  • Discomfort: General unease, especially while chewing.

Understanding Symptoms and Responses

  • Temperature Sensitivity: This is common with chipped teeth and doesn't necessarily mean the nerve is exposed.
  • Gum and Tissue Pain: The area around the tooth may be painful due to the impact and could take a few days to heal.
  • Soreness in Traumatized Teeth: It's normal for these teeth to be tender when chewing for a week or two.
  • Bleeding Gums: If the gums bleed, apply slight pressure with gauze. This will help stop the bleeding.
  • Cold Treatments for Minor Trauma: An ice block or ice cream can soothe discomfort in cases of minor trauma.

Information to Provide to the Paediatric Dentist

  • Details of the Incident: How and when the injury occurred.
  • Symptoms Observed: Note any pain, bleeding, sensitivity, or behavioural changes.
  • Medical History: Update any medical history including allergies and medications.
  • Dental History: Include previous dental visits or issues.

Signs Requiring Urgent or Emergency Care

  • Severe Pain or Bleeding: Indicates a more serious injury.
  • Loose or Dislodged Teeth: Risk of swallowing or breathing in.
  • Swelling or Infection Signs: Such as fever, excessive swelling, or pus.

Preparing Your Baby for the Dental Visit

  1. Explain Simply: Use simple words to explain that the dentist will help make their tooth better.
  2. Stay Positive: Children pick up on parental anxiety, so maintain a calm, positive demeanor.
  3. Role Play: Pretend play about visiting the dentist can make the actual visit seem more familiar and less intimidating.
  4. Comfort Item: Bring along a favourite toy or blanket for emotional comfort.

Remember, these steps are initial care measures. A dental evaluation is crucial to assess and manage the health of your child's chipped tooth.

Knocked-Out Baby Tooth

If your baby has experienced trauma resulting in the loss of primary teeth, it's important to take specific steps to manage the situation effectively. Here’s a guide on how to handle this dental emergency and prepare for the paediatric dentist appointment:

Immediate First Aid Measures

  1. Stay Calm: Your calmness is crucial for comforting your child.
  2. Oral Examination: Gently check your child’s mouth for bleeding, lost teeth, or other injuries.
  3. Bleeding Control: Apply gentle pressure to any bleeding areas with a clean, damp cloth or gauze.
  4. Avoid Reimplantation: For primary (baby) teeth, do not attempt to reinsert or preserve the tooth for reimplantation, as it can damage the developing permanent tooth underneath.
  5. Pain Management: Use a cold compress on the cheek to reduce swelling and alleviate pain. Administer age-appropriate pain relief if necessary.
  6. Soft Diet: Provide soft foods and avoid hot or cold extremes.

Signs of More Serious Injuries

  • Excessive Bleeding: Indicates a more severe injury and may require immediate medical attention.
  • Loss of Consciousness or Confusion: Seek emergency medical care.
  • Swelling or Bruising: Particularly around the jaw or neck area.
  • Difficulty Breathing or Swallowing: This could be a sign of a more severe trauma.

Information for the Paediatric Dentist

  • Incident Details: Note how and when the injury occurred.
  • Symptoms and Reactions: Record any symptoms such as pain, bleeding, or changes in eating habits.
  • Medical History: Update any medical history, including allergies and medications.
  • Previous Dental Records: If available, have your child’s previous dental records handy.

Preparing for the Paediatric Dental Appointment

  • Appointment Details: Confirm the time and location of the appointment.
  • Comfort Measures: Bring a comfort item for your child, like a toy or blanket.
  • Explain Gently: Use simple language to explain that the dentist is going to help them feel better.

Questions for the Paediatric Dentist

  1. Treatment Options: What are the treatment options for the lost primary teeth?
  2. Impact on Dental Development: How might this affect the growth of permanent teeth?
  3. Pain Management: How should pain be managed post-appointment?
  4. Diet and Oral Care: Are there any specific dietary recommendations or oral care practices to follow?
  5. Preventive Measures: How can similar incidents be prevented in the future?
  6. Follow-up Care: What follow-up appointments or care will be necessary?